Novel histochemical stain for tinctorial detection of cancer and neoplastic cells

Pavel Idelevich*, Don Kristt, Elimelech Okon, Dov Terkieltaub, Ilia Rivkin, Ami Fishman, Sylvia Lew, Eduardo Schejter, Adi Elkeles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zetiq has introduced a histochemical stain that claims to tinctorially identify cancer and neoplastic cells. Because of the potential importance of such a capability, we undertook to investigate Zetiq's CellDetect® staining technology as applied to cultured cell lines as well as an initial sample of clinical cases. This goal was pursued by investigating four types of comparisons: 1) cancer cell lines before and after differentiation; 2) cervical squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC) biopsies to non-neoplastic squamous epithelium; 3) SCCs to neoplastic, nonmalignant squamous epithelium; and 4) neoplastic squamous cells to non-neoplastic squamous cells in cytological preparations. The clinical material was also stained with hematoxylin and eosin (biopsies) or Pap (cytologies) for diagnostic purposes. We found that all CellDetect®-stained cells exhibited one of the two tinctorial outcomes. Cell lines with malignant phenotype uniformly had red/purple cytoplasm, whereas the differentiated phenotype changed the color to blue/green. Moreover, these two color values are sufficiently distinct that they can be readily distinguished quantitatively with an ELISA reader when applied to cells in tissue culture. Biopsies of SCC and non-neoplastic tissues exhibit the same two color values: cancers had red/purple cytoplasm, whereas non-neoplastic tissues were green/blue stained. In contrast, neoplastic, nonmalignant tissues (dysplasias) stained red/purple, similar to SCCs. Cytological preparations gave similar results: neoplastic cells stained red/purple, whereas non-neoplastic cells exhibited green/blue cytoplasm. The study demonstrated that the staining was rapid and reproducible. Conclusion: The CellDetect® stain allows detecting cancer and neoplastic cells tinctorially based on a rapid, reproducible histochemical process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Histotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer detection
  • Cancer diagnosis
  • Cell staining
  • Cytopathology
  • Histopathology
  • Warburg effect


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